London woman disfigured in acid attack

Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, ninemsn
1:48pm February 2, 2013
London retail assistant Naomi Oni, 20, before and after she fell victim to an acid attack.
London retail assistant Naomi Oni, 20, before and after she fell victim to an acid attack.

A London woman has spoken out about a vicious and unprovoked acid attack last year that left her disfigured and permanently scarred.

Naomi Oni, 20, had finished work at a Victoria's Secret store in east London in December and was only five minutes from home when a woman wearing a niqab threw a chemical substance at her, the London Evening Standard reports.

Ms Oni sustained burns to her face, neck, arms, legs and body.

She was released from Broomfield Hospital's burns unit last weekend after spending almost a month in specialist care.

She has released images of her shocking injuries in the hope they will help police find her attacker, whose face was unrecognisable under a veil.

Ms Oni, who was on the phone to her boyfriend when she was attacked, told the London Evening Standard her life had been destroyed.

"I look in the mirror and it just isn't me. I'll never look the same again. I've always been outgoing and confident in my job and in my personal life, used to getting attention for the way I dress or my hair, but now I don't want anyone looking at me," she said.

"I don't want people to see me in public. I don't want to get the tube or the bus. If I have to go to the hospital I take a taxi. I don't know if I'll ever be able to go back to my job. I was planning to go to college in September to study media and fashion, but I don't even know if I'll be able to do that."

Ms Oni has been left with only partial vision in her right eye and is facing extensive skin grafts and surgeries.

With her attacker still at large, she said she no longer felt safe at the council flat she had shared with her mother, and the pair have since moved to a friend's house.

Source: London Evening Standard

Author: Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, Approving editor: Nick Pearson

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